It amazes me how many organizations use backup tapes for archiving. Backup tapes and the software systems that create them were never designed for archiving, and any archiving strategy dependent upon backup tapes is fraught with cost and risk.
Backup systems and the backup tapes they create are designed for data protection - copying large amounts of data to protect against failure. In the event of inadvertent data deletion, disk failure, system crash or loss of an entire data center, backup tapes can restore data very quickly. The tape backup processes are mainly about speed, indiscriminately copying large amounts of data at a point in time onto high-capacity tapes. Backup systems do not have much understanding of the type or content of data that resides on their tapes. Backup tapes are quite good at...backup.